First Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice reviews come rolling in

We're mere days away from the release of BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE and now that the official embargo has been lifted, critics from around world have begun to reveal their thoughts on Zack Snyder's much anticipated blockbuster. In constrast to the first reactions we read yesterday, the first reviews from critics on BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE aren't nearly as flattering. Although the film's story and dour tone come under attack, there seems to be plenty of praise for Ben Affleck's Batman, the visual spectacle, as well as Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman. It's important to keep in mind that these are just reviews and that at the end of the day, the only opinion that really matters is your own.


The title carries a charge of giddy promise. Two titans of pop culture will, we are assured, rearrange city streets with each other’s faces. And once it arrives, the fight is a tightly choreographed, berserkly overwrought treat. But talk about delayed gratification: Snyder makes you wait, and wait, and wait for the championship bout. As the colon in the unwieldy title suggests, this is really two movies squished into one. There are moments that make the whole enterprise worthwhile, and introduces an intriguing new Batman. But it’s also cluttered and narratively wonky; a few jokes wouldn’t have gone amiss, either.

USA Today:

BvS will please those either waiting for the two main players to lock horns on a movie screen, or those who've just been pining for Wonder Woman forever. And for the nerdier crowds, a fleeting glimpse at other superheroes hints this is the Dawn of something potentially sensational.

The Wrap:

That face-off between two comics legends becomes but one in a series of big things bashing into other big things, which is what Snyder and writers Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer mistake for storytelling. The trio do manage to cough up an acceptable number of ooh-that’s-cool moments, and fans who will be satisfied with those will be satisfied with those, but any other ideas and characters the movie might offer get lost in the rubble.


BvS never fully transcends into being an awesome viewing experience and yet is also too competently made to be anywhere near the disaster its haters have predicted. That said, if you've already made up your mind about BvS then the actual film itself won't do much to change your mind one way or another.


Instead of typical 1-2-3 predictable storytelling and shot-framing, Snyder time and again chooses more personal approaches, framing action sequences in terms of perspectives — sometimes the experience of those on the ground as events unfold, other times the experience of the combatants. He plays a lot with depth of field, often subverting the typical approach of directing our eye’s attention. This is also the film where Snyder gets the best performances from his cast, and connects the story’s dots by juxtaposing the two dominant character arcs and allowing them to power toward one another while dragging along anyone else who gets too close. Batman v Superman has big, bold, breathtaking action in a story propelled by character conflicts on a mythic scale. The result is visually stunning, with powerful emotional storytelling and awe-inspiring action spectacle.


The main issues facing the writers of a superhero smackdown like this are concocting a reason why, given all the evil out there, they have to fight each other and devising a way to level the playing field when one of them is essentially immortal and the other is actually just a really buff guy with a costume and lots of gizmos. Screenwriters Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer have sort of solved this by devising ways to make Superman more frequently vulnerable than he's ever been before, but the villain here, Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor, is so intensely annoying that, very early on, you wish Batman and Superman would just patch up their differences and join forces to put the squirrely rascal out of his, and our, misery.

The Playlist:

Skipping character development in favor of heaps of ponderous symbolism and metaphor, 'Batman v Superman' pays lip service to cultural philosophy about man's relationship to God without ever digging deep into the concept. Superman's characteristic message of hope is replaced with an aura of fatalism and fear. This sequel pushes extremist versions of familiar characters in a tonal mishmash that undermines the film’s wild highs and indulges in more thunderous conflict than it can wrestle into coherence.


The essential clash of ideologies promised by the central conflict — vigilante justice vs. self-sacrificing restraint, night vs. day, Dionysus vs. Apollo — never develops quite as forcefully as it should, and the life-or-death battle between the two icons ultimately comes down to a series of misunderstandings. As a pure visual spectacle, however, “Batman v Superman” ably blows the hinges off the multiplex doors.

Rolling Stone:

When you're setting up the greatest gladiator match in the history of DC Comics, subtlety is not your weapon of choice. Snyder (300, Watchman) can't touch Christopher Nolan's artistry in the Dark Knight trilogy, but he's still a hell of a showman. Snyder tear-asses through two hours and 31 minutes of head-spinning, PG-13 mayhem.

Yahoo Movies:

"Batman v Superman," as heavy and humorless as a Supreme Court decision, is an 18-wheeler of a movie lumbering through a fallen world. It hurtles not with the kinetic momentum of "Mad Max: Fury Road" nor the comparatively spry skip of a Marvel movie, but with an operatic grandeur it sometimes earns and often doesn't. This is "Paradise Lost" for superheroes. It twists and grinds two of the most classic comic heroes, wringing new, less altruistic emotions out of them until their dashing smiles turn to angry grimaces.

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE will hit theaters this Friday.



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